Getting’ Jiggy With It!

Sep 21, 2010 No Comments

Remember when you were 10yrs old, attending dance class at least once a week, and you knew you were destined to be a prima ballerina? Well, then you turned 15yrs and decided hip-hop, salsa or jazz was better suited to you. These types of dance could get you starring on Broadway, in the background of a music video, or on stage with JLo! Now, you are anywhere upwards of 20yrs and the only dance you find yourself doing is at the local club or in front of your full length mirror…

Jackie Vilarino, owner of Dance Tech Studios, wants to help you or that special lil’ girl you know, realize her dance dreams and get back on track.

When did you realize that you wanted to open up a dance studio?

JV: I wanted to open a dance studio since high school.  I’ve always wanted to be a teacher but realized, what I really wanted to teach is what I loved the most and be able to share my passion with others.

What motivated you to open up shop?

JV: My mother definitely motivated me. She always thought I could do it and always talked about it just enough to remind me that it was an amazing idea.

During your journey to opening up your studio, did you come across any roadblocks or did you almost change your mind?

JV: Well, I had to visit water and sewer at least 5 times in two weeks. Permits took forever and I became great friends with the city of Miami/Hialeah licensing department due to how many times I visited their offices. That only made me think I may never get this place going, but I never once thought of changing my mind.

At what age did you start dancing?

JV: I started my first dance class at the age of 4.


What type of dance was your favorite back then?

JV: I took everything from ballet, jazz and folkloric dance to modern, lyrical and tap. But my absolute favorite thing in the world was dancing flamenco.

Did you dance for any celebrities before you opened up shop?

JV: I performed on stage and television with several artists.  Jessica Simpson, Gloria Estefan, Kelly Clarkson, Daddy Yankee, Luny tunes, Tego Calderon, Tito Puentes Jr., Jet at the MTV awards, Trace Adkins, Marco Antonio Solis and some others.

Any other interesting companies/groups you danced for before opening up your company?

JV: Straight out of graduating from New World school of the arts high school, I danced for the Miami Heat Dancers in the 2000-2001 seasons, and from 2002-2006 I danced with the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders. This is where I was made captain of the squad for two years, traveled the world on several dance tours including the USO to perform for our troops overseas and was also selected pro-bowl cheerleader in 2005.  It was truly an amazing experience.

As an adult, what is your biggest accomplishment that you feel has given you the most credibility as the owner of Dance Tech Studios Miami?

JV: I sit back in my desk and sometimes float out of my body to see everything that’s going on around me.  I see more and more kids, teens and adults coming in and out of my studio everyday to take dance classes from me and other talented instructors and still cant believe that I get to do what I love most for a living. It’s a dream come true.

When did you open Dance Tech Studio?

JV: I opened Dance Tech in July 2008


Once opening, did you have teachers working for you already?

JV: I most definitely did not. At first I was teacher, director, assistant, receptionist, janitor etc. I started hiring/delegating last year and currently have a staff of 6 amazing and extremely talented people working by my side.

How many classes do you personally teach?

JV: Right now I’m teaching about ten classes a week. I run about 10 hours of rehearsal for a professional NFL dance team that I choreograph for.

What ages do you teach?

JV: I teach ages 3 to adults.

What type of classes?

JV: Ballet, Hip Hop, Flamenco, Cheerleading, Contemporary, Jazz, Belly Dance, Music

As the owner of a Dance Studio, what have you learned about being hands-on and involved with your company?

JV: Well as the owner of a Dance Studio, or any business in general, I’ve realized you need to give 100% of yourself, 100% of the time. You get out what you put in.

What steps are you currently taking to grow your clientele as opposed to when you first opened?

JV: Well, I am spending much more on advertising in local news papers, kids magazines, and door to door flyer services, but best of all community performances. This is where the studio and students get a ton of exposure.

Edited by: Bridgette

DANCE TECH STUDIOS
Body, Miami, She Walks The Talk
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